Aw Shucks

Well hi there. Did everyone have a wonderful weekend? I surely did. It was fairly low key which was just what I needed.

In case you missed it, here are the weekend’s posts which include two zucchini recipes!

Friday: Date at Pittsburgh Blue

Saturday: Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Pasta

Sunday: Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

As you’ve probably noticed, I usually recap the previous day’s endeavors in my posts rather than on the day of. With that being said, I will now be recapping Sunday for you. Here we go!

Breakfast

It was time to experiment with an old favorite, the Greek yogurt fruit bowl. A breakfast that I seriously ate day after day for a good month or two before moving on to my next obsession which I believe was the overnight chia seed bowl.

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In this beautiful bowl: raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, Fage 0% Greek yogurt drizzled with honey. YESsssA!

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The good news, is that this sat perfectly well in my belly.

After breakfast we did our usual Sunday gig with coupons and grocery stores. When we got home at 11:00, I was ready for lunch. I made myself a strawberry salad with avocado, black beans, feta cheese, and honey mustard dressing.

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I loved every bit of it as usual.

As I was making my lunch, Dana was busy experimenting with a SCD tortilla so that he could make himself a burrito. I found a recipe a while ago and have wanted to try it but haven’t gotten around to it. He got to work on making the SCD tortilla which was actually pretty easy. It took a total of about 17 minutes.

The recipe was:

  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 Tablespoons water

Basically you just mix all the ingredients together and bake in a well-greased pan for 15 minutes at 300°.

Here was his burrito. Not too shabby!

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In the afternoon we cleaned the house, I did some food prep, and we ran a handful or errands in record time. Then we headed to my in-laws to visit with them for a bit.

Dinner

By the time we got home it was nearly time for dinner, so once again I found myself in the kitchen (I really do enjoy food prep btw so this isn’t a big deal usually; only when I feel like I’m LIVING in the kitchen is when I get bothered by it).

On the menu was a very simple meal of grilled corn on the cob and bison burgers. When we went to the Farmer’s Market a couple of weeks ago we bought a pound of farm fresh ground bison and have had it in the freezer since then. It was time to give it a taste.

I got to shucking the corn. Is that not the best word? Shucking.

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We seasoned the bison burgers simply with Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, salt and pepper.

Dinner was so easy and so delicious. This was my first corn on the cob this summer because it was not allowed on the SCD, but since I have modified the diet, I am allowing myself to enjoy it, and that I did.

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Something happened after dinner…two Dairy Queen blizzards just showed up at our house and it just so happens that we both LOVE DQ. I wasn’t going to let this summery treat go to waste. :wink: I loved every bite of this double fudge cookie dough blizzard.

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I will be cooling it again on the ice cream front, hopefully. It is just so refreshing and lovable in the summer I can’t help myself! 

Did everyone watch the Olympic’s closing ceremony last night? I turned into my 12 year old self as soon as Spice Girls hit the stage. Spice up your life! Loved it.

Now we all know it’s Monday, and in lieu of Monday, I have another terrible joke for you courtesy of this site.

Q: Why did the cowboy adopt a wiener dog?

A: He wanted to get a long little doggy.

Date at Pittsburgh Blue

Happy Friday to you all!

Last night, Dana and I had a date night. We still had a gift card from our wedding to a chain of restaurants in the area, and it was burning a whole in my pocket.

The chain of restaurants is called Parasole and among their restaurants, we chose Pittsburgh Blue Steakhouse which specializes in duh, steak, but also has a great variety of seafood.

We got all dolled up, had our own happy hour at home with a glass of wine, before heading out the door to the restaurant.

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Moose wanted in on the photo shoot. I want to frame this one below. How stinking beautiful is he??

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He made sure to smile for this one…

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We told him that if dogs were allowed at the restaurant we would so let him come with, but no can do. Rules are rules. Sorry, Moose. Winking smile

While we contemplated our dinner orders, we both ordered a glass of Zinfandel which was perfectly smooth and slightly sweet. By far my favorite wine.

They also brought out a bread basket which I had originally said I was going to pass on, but changed my mind about 7 minutes later. Boy am I glad I did. The bread loaf was made up of 4 large rolls that were incredibly soft on the inside, and the outside had a light crust brushed with garlic butter and sea salt. OH MY. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

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For dinner I ordered the seafood cobb salad. The salad started with a bed of romaine lettuce drizzled with lemon vinaigrette, and then was piled high with these toppings:

Left to right: fresh lobster, tomatoes, chives, hard-boiled egg, citrus shrimp, cheese, bacon, avocado, and fresh crab.

What an awesome salad. I ate 80% of it and was pretty proud of my accomplishment.

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Dana ordered the prime rib which to me is the most unappetizing thing ever. I’m just not much of a meat person as you may well know by now. He really enjoyed it!

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We also ordered a side of asparagus which were the bomb.

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Although I was feeling pleasantly full after dinner, I really wanted to finish date night with something sweet. I had the bright idea to stop at Whole Foods on the way home and get some gelato.

2 scoops: 1 scoop chocolate brownie and 1 scoop salted caramel.

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Are you kidding me? My second glimpse of heaven that night. I especially loved the salted caramel.

It had been way too long since we have had a date night like this. It was perfect. I loved spending such a nice evening with my hubby. Thanks Brett and Krystle for the great wedding gift!

I hope everyone has a great Friday! My favorite day of the week. Catch up with you all later!

I Know My ABC’s

I got this idea from my gal pal Kalkal and thought it would be a good time. I changed it up a tad and came up with this! Have fun.

A is for Age: 26

B is for favorite Breakfast currently: Overnight Chia Seed Yogurt Bowl

C is for frequent Cravings: peanut butter and chocolate

D is for Date night: I love quiet date nights where we make a nice dinner together, play games and go out for ice cream.

E is for favorite kind of exercise: Man, I love it all. I really enjoy Zumba and am learning to love running.

F is for irrational Fear: big spiders

G is for Gross food: slimy, chewy fishy tasting seafood (I like non slimy, chewy, or fishy tasting seafood though)

H is for Happy thoughts: vacation, family, babies, puppies, ice cream

I is for something Important: family, friends and happiness

J is for current Jam: Welch’s Grape Natural Spread. Oh, you mean jam like music? Probably a song too embarrassing to mention.

K is for Kids: No kids for me yet but in the future, yes. I love kids.

L is for favorite Lunch: PB banana wrap with cinnamon

M is for most recent way you spent your Money: Underwater camera for our trip

N is for something you Need: full body massage (I still have a massage gift card from the wedding but want to use it post half-marathon!)

O is for Occupation: Registered Dietitian

P is for Pet Peeve: I feel bad when I think about this question because I have a lot of pet peeves. The worst though…when people are late.

Q is for a Quote:

R is for something Random about you: I have to make sure all of the wrinkles are out of my pillow case before I go to sleep

S is for favorite healthy Snack: peanut butter and banana or trail mix

T is for favorite Treat: ice cream (is that my third time mentioning ice cream?)

U is for something that makes you Unique: I was hospitalized with a kidney stone when I was 16 years old

V is for favorite Vegetable: sugar snap peas

W is for my Worst hairdo: in 5th and 6th grade I would sport the princess leia buns…you know, like these. Except, not so large and not covering my ears. Little bun buns.

X is for X-rays you’ve had: dentist, wisdom teeth removal, and when I cut my arm on a broken wine glass.

Y is for favorite movie from Youth: Wizard of Oz, Willy Wonka

Z is for your time Zone: central

There you have it. The ABC’s of Melanie.

Unconventional Dinner

I ended up making yesterday a complete “rest” day (as for workouts that is). No workout yesterday. It felt strange for a work week because I typically don’t take rest days during the week, but I have been so extremely tired lately and have really favored the sleep.

For lunch yesterday I made myself one of my favorites: peanut butter banana wrap. I prepared the PB2 with water as usual but then also added honey and cinnamon before smearing it onto a whole wheat tortilla, and topping it with small banana.

I also had an apple (recycled photo)…

Some sugar snap peas (also a recycled photo)…

And not pictured, a dark chocolate Adora disk dipped in peanut butter. I am a PB maniac. I eat it everyday.

After work, I met up with some great friends of mine for happy hour at one of their homes. She had a wonderful spread laid out of some of my favorite snacks: veggies and hummus, chips and salsa, cheese and crackers, chocolate, and of course, red wine. I didn’t snap any photos because I was caught up in conversation and tasty treats. We were even able to enjoy the beautiful weather outside on her deck. I had an amazing time and hope we can do it more often! Love you ladies. :wink:

On the way home, I made an impulse decision to veer my car into the Dairy Queen drive thru. It has been a very long time since I have had a blizzard and ya know what? I wanted an ice cream treat. I picked myself up my favorite kind which is double fudge cookie dough, and got Dana a caramel delight pie blizzard.

As you can see, I am slightly excited for what’s to come.

I LOVE ICE CREAM. This tasted better than ever. Oh, how I’ve missed you soft serve. Welcome back to my life.

Dinner was a little “unconventional” tonight, but it sure was tasty. I enjoyed every second of my evening.

The rest of the night was spent organizing a couple of things in the basement (electric is being installed in the bathroom downstairs today) and relaxing with the boys.

Happy Friday the 13th! Dun dun dun…..

Oreo Ice Cream Cake

Happy Easter!

I wasn’t able to sleep very well last night or this morning so I decided that I may as well get up and get crackin’ so that I could wish you all a happy day, and share a nummy dessert with you.

I have plans to go to church this morning, then head over to my mom and dad’s for an Easter celebration. We have planned a menu of course, and on it is:

  • Ham
  • Steak
  • Parmesan Potatoes
  • Roasted Broccoli
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Fruit Salad
  • Dinner Rolls
  • And dessert (which I’ll get to hopefully tomorrow)
I am very excited to be with my family today.
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Let’s back track for a bit shall we to last night, because we had a wonderful time celebrating Easter with Dana’s parents. Dana’s mom made us a wonderful ham that wasn’t overly salty and had the perfect amount of sweet glaze. On the side, she made her famous cheesy vegetables (need to get that recipe), diced fresh fruit, and dinner rolls.

For dessert, Sue put me in charge. Yesterday afternoon, I ran to the store and bought three ingredients:

1. Cookies n’ Cream Ice Cream

2.Reduced Fat Oreos

3. Chocolate Syrup

When I got home I left the ice cream out on the counter to defrost as I began food processing about two rows of Oreos. I placed about 2/3 of the processed Oreos into a bowl and added a few squirts of spray butter.

I then pressed the crushed oreos into the bottom of a cake pan, lined with saran wrap. I spread one layer of chocolate syrup on top of the crushed Oreos, and spread it into a layer.

Next, I scooped the defrosted ice cream on top of the Oreos and spread into an even layer. I then sprinkled more crushed oreos, this time in bigger pieces onto the top of the ice cream. I finished it with one more swirl of chocolate syrup.

I wrapped it up in the saran wrap, and placed into the freezer to mold into it’s new shape.

Once it was dessert time, I removed it from the freezer, unwrapped it from the saran wrap, and sliced into cake-like pieces. I neglected to take a photo of my piece of ice cream cake because I was extremely excited about eating ice cream and completely forgot. After I demolished my piece, I then remembered I wanted to take a photo.

This dessert was on point. I don’t know if it was because I hadn’t eaten a dessert in a month and a half, or if it was just truly that good, or maybe a combo of the two, but this tasted so incredible to me. It brought me back to elementary school days and dirt cups at lunch. Remember the dirt cups with chocolate pudding, crushed Oreos, and gummy worms?

If you are even in a time crunch (or not), I would highly recommend making this cool dessert. I spent around $9.00 on the whole pan, and I was able to buy reduced fat ingredients to help curve the fat content slightly. I like being in control. Num.

Alright, off to cut coupons, shower, and get ready for Easter Mass. Have a beautiful day.

Nerd in the Kitchen

Happy Saturday! I am leaving for Easter #1 at the in-laws in about 9 minutes so this is going to be short but very sweet.

This morning Dana, Moose, and I hit ground running for 4 miles, finishing just before the rain came.

When we got home, I hit the kitchen hard. Four desserts, baby.

Sneak peak of chocolate chip caramel bars in the making.

Homemade Lemon Bars in the oven.

Total nerdo in the kitchen.

Oreo Ice Cream Cake for Easter #1.

My cute boys.

Off to Easter #1!

One dessert is still in processing and was camera shy but I promise I made four today!

I felt like super woman today. Call me Melly Crocker. I am out! Happy Day!

Fat Tuesday? It sure was.

Happy Hump Day!

How ironic that I ended up having a complete bottomless pit stomach yesterday on Fat Tuesday. Huh, funny. I didn’t snap photos of all of my food yesterday because quite frankly I would have had to glue the camera to my hand. My day started off with a nice patriotic looking bowl of fruit and greek yogurt.

Btw if you are wondering, I typically buy FAGE (pronounced Fa-yeh) Total 0% all natural non fat greek strained yogurt.

Quick Nutrition Facts (Per 1 cup):

  • 130 calories
  • 0 g fat
  • 85 mg sodium
  • 9 g carbohydrate
  • 9 g sugar
  • 23 whopping grams of protein!
  • 25% daily value of calcium

It’s obvious I really enjoy my yogurt sweetened with a little honey and mixed with a ton of fruit, but it can also be used as a substitute for sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, etc. We have been going through it pretty quickly around our house.

I worked until 1:00 yesterday so I had packed some snacks to tide me over until I got home for lunch. I packed a string cheese, apple, carrots, sugar snap peas, and a banana. I ripped through those snacks like it was no ones business and also had an Archer Farm’s fruit strip on the car ride home. I was going to go to the gym and then eat when I got home but I couldn’t make it. I needed MORE FOOOOOODD! I was like a tornado whipping through the kitchen. I immediately sliced off a piece of bread and slathered it in pb and J. I scarfed that down then headed to the pantry for a few handfuls of Special K blueberry cereal. I wanted more but decided I needed to cool it for a bit, especially if I was planning to get any sort of a workout in.

My intentions were to go for a run on the treadmill. I started running but noticed a little pain in the outside of my left knee cap. I tried to keep running thinking I was just warming up and it would go away, but it didn’t. I turned my run into a 45 minute walk and then cranked out some abs and planks. I hope the pain goes away soon. I think it will.

Anyway…back to the snacks again. I wanted to share with you this new hummus that we bought (new to me at least). It is Cedar’s Artichoke Kalamata Hommus. Oh wow, I can’t begin to describe how good this stuff is but I’ll try. It is creamy and slightly salty with a hint of olive flavor and tiny specks of artichoke. Perfect to dip crackers, veggies, or pita chips. If you ever see this stuff in your grocery store, give it a go.

Now, where was I going with this post? Oh yes, dinner last night! My long-time friend, Kalley came over for dinner last night. We’ve been friends since the 8th grade. Back in the day we passed notes, gossiped about our biggest crushes, and danced and sang to N’sync and Britney Spears. Hmm, come to think of it, not much has changed. :wink: Except now we are passing texts, talking about husbands and real significant boyfriends, and still dancing and singing to JT (although I still have love for Britney too).

Homecoming 2001 (Me, Jules, and Kalley)

Ellen's Wedding 2010

It had been way too long since we had gotten together so we decided to hang out in our comfies and make dinner together. On the menu was veggie fajitas, guacamole and a whole lot of catching up!

Fajitas:

  • bell peppers
  • onions
  • corn
  • pinto beans
  • fajita seasoning (chili powder, cumin, black pepper, salt, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder)
  • whole wheat tortillas
Kalley’s Guacamole:
  • avocados
  • red onion
  • lime juice
  • lemon juice
  • cilantro
  • salt and pepper

It was SO great catching up! Also, thanks for the books! I started reading Firefly Lane last night. Thanks for coming over Kal!

After Kalley left, Dana and I had our last dessert before lent and it was a good one. Coldstone ice cream (cake batter ice cream with brownies and other goodies) and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

No.more.sweets.

Just noticed the time. I still need to finish getting ready for work!I am out! Happy day!

Sweet Day & Fun Plans

Hello there! No monkey business I have lots to share as always.

Yesterday we had a potluck lunch at work. It was Valentine’s themed so everyone was supposed to bring food that was red, pink, or purple. My food-minded brain started thinking of tons of different options: pink quinoa with Craisins, nuts, and apples, cupcakes with pink frosting, apple nachos….had a hard time deciding on one. But I did decide to go with the Apple Nachos. I got the idea from Pinterest but changed it up a bit.

It included sliced apples, melted peanut butter drizzled over top, and was topped with almond slices, walnut pieces, Craisins, and chocolate chips. This was a huge hit and it was so simple to make! This would be a huge crowd pleaser with kids as well.

At the meeting there was everything from beet salad, to pb and j sandwiches on pink bread, strawberries, red bell peppers, heart shaped egg salad sandwiches, pink and red M & M’s (which I had WAY too many of), pink cupcakes (also had one of those), meatballs, etc. We go all out at our work meetings. Lunch held me over very well.

I had another meeting from 5:30-7 and didn’t get home until about 7:30. This was waiting for me at home upon my arrival.

My favorite gummy treats, three amazing cards which were all so sweet (from Moose, Dana, and one from my mom too), and the gift in the pink bag was a bathrobe from Target that I have literally been eyeing up for the past year!

On the menu: Lightly pan-fried scallops and fresh Mahi-Mahi that Dana caught earlier today. :smile: Ha ha, that would be great! Alongside were oven-roasted fennel and artichoke hearts. Everything was unbelievable. I even liked the fennel! It didn’t have much of a licorice taste like I was expecting, it took on a “roasted” flavor and I actually really enjoyed it. I couldn’t finish everything on my plate because I was filling up way too fast and I knew there was some really great dessert yet to come.

Dessert started with these adorable chocolate covered strawberries.

Second course of dessert was cookie dough ice cream and warm, fresh brownies.

The combination of cold ice cream and warm brownies, and the way the ice cream melts into the brownie and creates a fudge like brownie….I can’t even believe how amazing it is. I don’t get this treat very often, but when I do, you better watch out, I will put myself into a brownie and ice cream coma.

This picture does not describe the magnitude of my love for this dish. Once I finished this deliciousness, I felt like I had a boulder sitting in my stomach. I ate enough sugar today to last me through the whole month.

After dinner, we watched a great Valentine’s episode of Glee, and before we knew it it was 9:30 which means time to get ready for bed! I promise I am only 26 years old. I really need my sleep though.

Dana really pulled off an amazing Valentine’s Day. I told him “he won” this year for sure. Not that I really mean it’s a competition but he just put so much time into it and made it so unbelievable. The couple hours that I did have with Dana made up for me having to work until 7 last night.

Now, I have some major gummies to eat before lent begins next week!

One last note. Valentine’s Day holds an extra special place in my heart, because I remember my Grandma K who passed away 8 years ago on this day. She was able to join her husband in heaven on this special day devoted to love. She was an amazing, caring, funny, spitfire of a woman who will always be remembered.

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I mentioned previously that I had exciting events planned for the upcoming year. It’s share time.

  1. Trip to California to visit friends–next week!
  2. Get Lucky7k run on St. Patty’s Day
  3. A weeklong vacation to the Dominican Republic—end of April! We just booked this two nights ago!
  4. Race for the Cure with mom on Mother’s Day
  5. Boundary waters weekend trip in May
  6. Two half marathons in June
  7. Warrior Dash at the end of June
  8. Long weekend trip to visit my brother in Bogota later summer, early fall

I’m probably forgetting a few things in there! In between those events are birthdays, baby showers, weddings, fun sun time, hopefully a garage sale….and more. It is going to be a great year! I am so pumped for it all! I’m off to get ready for work and maybe going to throw something in the crockpot? We will see. Have a great day! Happy Wednesday.

Touchy Subject

Good morning!

Work starts a little later today so I slept in until 7:30, and am enjoying a cup of coffee before I head downstairs to get a run in on the treadmill.

So remember how I mentioned that my soup had a really high sodium content yesterday (not to mention the salty chips)? Well, I could definitely tell later on in the day just how salty it was because I was incredibly thirsty. I was going through water like it was my last chance to ever again drink it.

This made me curious. I had weighed myself yesterday and I was wondering how much water I was retaining after all of that sodium. I stepped on the scale again today…I am retaining 3 lbs of water weight this morning! Now, I am not trying to be an advocate for the scale because really, I hate the scale. I could be feeling phenomenal one morning after a week’s worth of healthy eating and great workouts, and then step on the scale, “not like what I see,” and I am grumpy for the next half of the day.

I need to remember that they’re just numbers. If the pants fit, and I like how I look and feel, and am trying to eat right and stay active, the numbers don’t matter. K, that was my scale rant. It just makes me think about all of the processed foods out there and how much harder our hearts have to work when there is extra fluid flowing around in there.

Since I went there with the numbers and the scale business, I have to say, although I am a dietitian and do watch what I eat, it is obvious I love sweets. Enter oreo bars and ice cream:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Around the holidays I did pack on a few extra lbs due to endless holiday cookies staring me in the face daily, and am slowly trying to shed those lbs gained. I am a very active person, and the “numbers” are going down Slllooooowwwwlllly (which is good), but more importantly, my pants are starting to fit better than they did around the holidays.

I am not perfect, I am not a perfect eater, but I do try and balance my diet and never deprive myself of the things I love. If I want chocolate everyday, I will eat chocolate everyday, I am just learning how to moderate that so that it continues to be a “treat” and not a daily snack. I to, have to practice what I preach: It’s all about moderation.

Weight is definitely a touchy subject for most people, including myself, but it is something that so many people are worried about on a daily basis. That’s why I dislike diets so much. Sure some diets will help you shed 30 lbs in 30 days, but what happens once you go back to normal living without the diet? The pounds start to pile on oftentimes more quickly than they were lost which is why I stress the importance of learning to live a healthy lifestyle with healthy food choices and exercise. It is important to enjoy life, and love the foods you are eating, but there needs to be some balance in there.

As I continue to motivate myself to stay active and eat healthy, I will try and do the same for you whether it’s sharing healthy recipes (and sometimes not so healthy ones–remember all in moderation), sharing workouts, fun activities, etc.

I hope your Tuesdays are off to a great start. Get out there and “let me see you do something.” Love those commercials! Off to the treadmill I go (yes our basement is unfinished, that’s not a really bad zebra paint job)…

Hi, Melanie. I am waiting for you…

Veggie Egg Skillet

Last night I pulled out our brand new cast iron skillet that we got as a wedding gift. It was time to give it a shot. I munched on some almonds while I put this gig together.

I started by sautéing one small onion on the stove top. I then added chopped broccoli, and let that cook for a few minutes. At this point I sprinkled the vegetables with garlic powder and cracked black pepper and also preheated the oven to a low broil. Next, I started to add the fresh spinach to the skillet. I had to do this in stages because the skillet wasn’t big enough to house all of the raw spinach, but I knew it would all fit once it cooked down. I eventually got all of the spinach added to the pan. I sprinkled the veggies again with garlic powder, a pinch of salt, and grated Parmesan cheese. I made two wells in the veggies and cracked one egg into each well. I placed the super heavy skillet into the oven and cooked for about 5 minutes, watching to make sure I didn’t over-cook the yolk. Once removed from the oven, I split the dish in half for Dana and I, and topped with salsa.

Wanna hear a funny yolk?

My first attempt at skillet cooking was a S.U.C.C.E.S.S. I can’t believe how much one bag of spinach cooks down! The yolk in the top picture looks kinda funny because the top began to cook a little bit while the bottom of the yolk was still runny (runny was what I wanted).

A couple of hours after dinner Dana made a Dairy Queen run for us and we both enjoyed a double fudge Blizzard. I could eat those things on a daily basis and never ever get sick of them… but I wouldn’t do that because I like fitting into my pants.

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Now here we are, Monday morning. Oh boy, I don’t like Mondays, not one bit. Especially when I know the roads are going to be terrible because of freezing rain. Sounds wonderful. I started it off right though with a big ol’ banana slathered with peanut butter.

Off to drive with the crazies to work. Who am I kidding? I am one of the crazies. I don’t like driving when the roads are even a little bit bad.

Check ya later home skillets. I will stay positive and say that today is going to be a GREAT Monday.